Safe Trails: Close Shave

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by Erick Wikum

When I get ready in the morning, I value a close shave.  When using the Little Miami Scenic Trail, though, a close shave is one of the last things I want to experience.

I recently rode my bike through South Lebanon and east through Morrow.  In Morrow, I decided to take the road rather than the trail.  I stopped at a stop sign before rejoining the trail at the bridge.  A sixth sense told me to check very carefully before proceeding, and it is a good thing I did.  A bicyclist emerged from the bridge at a very high rate of speed and blew through the stop sign.  I hate to even think about the collision that would have resulted had I continued without pausing.

Shortly thereafter, I went for a hike on the trail.  As I approached two walkers going in the opposite direction, first one and then two bicyclists queued up behind the pair of walkers, waiting for me to clear before passing.  In the meanwhile, a third bicyclist approached, passed the first two bicyclists and squeezed through the narrow gap between the walkers and me at full speed.  The two bicyclists who had slowed had a few choice words for the other cyclist, and with good reason.

What’s the lesson here?  Close calls can happen to anyone at any time, so when using the trail, be alert and expect the unexpected.  Slow down when approaching others and wait to pass until it is safe to do so.  Adjust your speed to avoid passing more than one other party at a time.

I feel fortunate that these two close shaves were just that, close shaves, and not accidents.  Stay safe on the trail and save close shaves and other such activities for your morning routine.

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